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The Vizcacha lives in societies of twenty to thirty members,1
in a " village " (" "Vizcachera "), a dozen or so of burrows, which
intercommunicate. They lie at home during the day and come
out in the evening. Their burrows, like those of the Prairie
Marmot, harbour other creatures, which apparently live on ami-
cable terms with the Vizcachas; such are the burrowing owl, a
small swallow, and a Geositta. The Fox also afteets these burrows,
but then he ejects the rightful owner of the particular burrow

Fro. 243.—Vizcacha,     Laffostowms trichodactyhts.     x fa.
which he selects. When the young Foxes are born the vixen
hunts the Vizcachas for food. The Vizcacha has a most varied
voice, producing " guttural, sighing, shrill, and deep tones," and
Mr. Hudson doubts if there is " any other four-footed beast so
loquacious or with a dialect so extensive/' These animals are
very friendly, and pay visits from village to village; they will
attempt to rescue their friends if attacked by a Weasel or a
Peccary, and to disinter those covered up in their burrows
by man.
Fam. 7. Oercolabidae.—A number of the characters which
differentiate this family from the Hystricidae or Ground Por-
cupines of the Old World are given under the description of the
latter. The principal external characters are the prehensile tail,
the admixture of spines with hairs, and the nature of the sole of
the foot. In these points the New-World Cercolabidae differ
from the Old-World Hystricidae. It is interesting to notice that
1 Hudson, " On the Habits of the Vizcacha," Proc. Zool. Sac. 1872, p. 822.
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